US Department of Labor finds Whataburger restaurant illegally denied nursing mother time to express breast milk, then fired her
Employer name: Whataburger Restaurant LLC
Investigation site: 7201 Quaker Ave.
Lubbock, TX 79424
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found a corporate-owned location of Whataburger Restaurant LLC failed to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators also determined that, when the employee left the premises to express milk, the employer terminated the employee. To resolve the violations, the San Antonio-based franchisor signed an Enhanced Compliance Agreement stating it will provide FLSA training to all managers in the future.
Back wages recovered: $900 in back wages and $900 in liquidated damages.
Quote: “Depriving a nursing mother of her right to express breast milk with enough break time to do it, and then firing her is against the law,” said Wage and Hour District Director Evelyn Ortiz in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Employers must comply with all of the FLSA provisions, including the right of nursing mothers to request the time and space they need to express milk without fear of retaliation.”
Under the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, most nursing employees have the right to reasonable break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view to express breast milk while at work. This right is available for up to one year after the child’s birth.